Running Hard & Fast, then a dose of Reality

**Warning: Lots of writing and minimal picture ahead … feel free to skim!!

So, I’m starting to realize that my days feel like they are running together! If I don’t blog the day of, I’m in trouble! Haha. 

Let’s see … yesterday was the day we went to the Adoption Center to make everything official on the China side.  We had to be up and ready to go by 8:30 – which was not a problem at all. I continue to wake around 4/4:30 and Ari was up at 5:00. It was nice because we had plenty of time to get ready and didn’t have to rush. We ate some bakery goods for breakfast and Ari didn’t seem to mind. 

We met our guide (and the other family who is here as well) in the lobby at 8:30 and headed out to the provincial foreign adoption center. Here they took a picture of Ari and I together for the official paperwork and of him for his passport. Ari was not happy about having his picture taken and my hair was straight when we left the hotel … yea … lol

After filling out several pieces of paperwork, signing them and sealing them with my fingerprint (and his footprint), we went to a notary where they asked us basic questions about the adoption (my name, his name, my occupation and if I was satisfied with him). After the notary we went to the police office so they could take an official picture of Ari.

After all that was done, we headed back to the hotel. We all went back to our rooms to change diapers and take a bathroom break then we all headed out to lunch (sans guide/translator). We found a nice restaurant where no one spoke English. As most restaurants, they are upstairs – so we carried Ari and his stroller up the stairs to get in the restaurant. Unlike in the US, this restaurant did not have menus at the table (little did we know). We did our best at playing charades to gesture our needs. One of the staff members finally guided us over to the area where they had a picture menu posted and we picked out the food we wanted. 

Our meal was VERY good (and Ari was happy because we got dumplings – his favorite). The awesome thing is that, for 7 of us, the total cost in USD was $23.52! After eating, we crossed the street and went to the grocery store. It was a 2 story store with an escalator (so fun with a stroller). We were able to find some snacks,  large 5L water to refill our bottles and diapers. Throughout the store we had a traveling entourage following us. The sight of Ari brings many curious onlookers. I try to cover him the best I can (mainly because I want to protect him, but also to avoid the frequently gathering crowds). It is interesting because it seems that he gathers more crowds himself than Michelle and I do bring blonde American women. By the time we gathered everything and went to check out, I was beyond ready to go.

 By the time we got back to the hotel it was 2:30p, way past Ari’s usual nap time. He had been so happy and such a trooper! I laid him on the bed and he was asleep in 2 minutes. 45 minutes later he woke up screaming. He was NOT happy and kept bringing his knees up to flex his hips. I couldn’t tell if he was hurting or constipated. The foster home had mentioned that lately he wasn’t going but once every 3-4 days. So, not being sure what was going on, I gave him some Motrin in hopes that it would help and he would calm down. 30-45 mins later, he was still very upset. We decided to give him a drink (he typically refuses the bottle). And man, he gulped down 6 ounces of thickened fluids (juice and flavored water). I also decided to stick some Miralax in his drink so that maybe it would help if he was constipated (which I really thought he was based on his movements and behavior). 

Around 5:30, Ari finally calmed down and began acting more like himself. We decided that we would just order room service for dinner (which was an experience in itself .. language barriers are tough sometimes). We ordered and it was a 45 minute wait – so I decided it was time to give Ari a bath. Since he cannot hold his head up, we utilized a swimming neck ring (for babies/kiddos with special needs) while in the bathtub. He wasn’t too sure about this, but tolerated it. He then wasn’t too sure about laying down in the bathtub, but decided it was funny when I was washing his hair … but he didn’t like laying there while washing his body. It was quick and mostly painless – in and out super fast. 

After the bath, our dinner was still not here and Ari was starving. So, I fed him an egg custard left over from KFC and a banana. By the time he was done with that, dinner was here (rice porridge for him with some fried egg off my club sandwich) but he only ate 4-5 bites before he was full. I gave him his medicine (which he was NOT happy about) and I decided to try some liquid melatonin to help him sleep. 

He fell asleep within 5 minutes of laying down (around 8:00p), giving me time to finish dinner and put some things away. I decided that since he was asleep, I was going to sleep too … I doubt it took me much longer than 5 minutes to fall asleep myself . 

Around 10, Ari woke up screaming and was moving his legs like he had earlier in the day. No amount of rocking/bouncing/ cuddling was making it better. After 2 hours of screaming/crying (and praying we didn’t have neighbors that thought I was torturing the poor kid), he finally laid on the bed calmly and played with his toy (typically I wouldn’t let him play with toys in bed – but I was grabbing at straws as to whatever would make him calm down!!). Finally, around 1:00a, he fell back to sleep. He woke up again around 4:00, but I turned on PBSKids and scrolled through a few shows before ending on Sesame Street, which he seems to love.  I left it on and we both fell asleep. He finally woke at 6:45 and seemed a bit better than the night. 

Whew, first hard dose of reality, but we made it through. Today we had a lot of adventures, but I’ll leave that for the next post!  

Ari’s Firsts: – First time in a grocery store  – first time in a bathtub – First time playing the guessing game as to why he was upset – First time having a rough night

What I have learned about Ari: – He mostly enjoys all the attention he brings, frequently smiling at the many onlookers – He is tolerant of so much, including schedule changes and pushing him past nap time – He really likes egg custard! – Constipation will be a daily battle we face 

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